Ar­royo pushes 11 pri­or­ity bills, reminds Sen­ate

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HOUSE Speaker Glo­ria Ma­ca­pa­gal-ar­royo on Wed­nes­day, May 22, urged the Sen­ate to act on 11 pri­or­ity bills that have been approved by the Lower House to achieve the leg­isla­tive agenda of Pres­i­dent Rodrigo Duterte in the last three weeks of the 17th Congress.

In a May 21 let­ter to Sen­ate Pres­i­dent Vi­cente “Tito” Sotto III, Ar­royo listed 12 bills that the Pres­i­dent iden­ti­fied in his 2018 State of the Nation Ad­dress. Copies of the let­ter were dis­trib­uted to re­porters Wed­nes­day.

Of the 12, 11 have been approved by the House but re­main pend­ing in the Sen­ate.

“We await the ac­tion of the Sen­ate and stand ready to adopt the Sen­ate ver­sion in the in­ter­est of speedy leg­is­la­tion,” Ar­royo stated in her let­ter.

She said the main pri­or­ity of the House in the last three weeks of this Congress is to pass the bill cre­at­ing the Co­conut In­dus­try Trust Fund, which was ve­toed by the Pres­i­dent.

A re­vised ver­sion, which Ar­royo hoped “con­forms more to the pol­icy di­rec­tion of the Ex­ec­u­tive”, was re-in­tro­duced in the House.

The 11 House-approved mea­sures that await Sen­ate ac­tion are:

1. Se­cu­rity of Ten­ure Act

2. Na­tional Land Use Act

3. De­part­ment of Dis­as­ter Re­silience Act

4. Tax Re­form for At­tract­ing Bet­ter and High-qual­ity Op­por­tu­ni­ties (Trabaho)

5. An Act Es­tab­lish­ing the Fis­cal Regime for the Min­ing In­dus­try

6. An Act Amend­ing the Ex­cise Tax on Al­co­hol Prod­ucts

7. An Act In­creas­ing the Ex­cise Tax Rate on To­bacco Prod­ucts

8. An Act In­sti­tut­ing Re­forms in Real Prop­erty Val­u­a­tion and As­sess­ment in the Philip­pines

9. Pas­sive Income and Fi­nan­cial In­ter­me­di­ary Tax­a­tion Act of 2019

10. Resolution Propos­ing the Re­vi­sion of the 1987 Con­sti­tu­tion

11. An Act Ex­pand­ing the Scope of the Re­for­ma­tion and Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of Chil­dren in Con­flict with the Law and Strength­en­ing the So­cial Rein­te­gra­tion Pro­grams.

These bills com­prise the pri­or­ity leg­isla­tive agenda of Duterte, the Speaker said.

Members of the 17th Congress will serve un­til June 30, 2019. The newly elected House rep­re­sen­ta­tives and 12 se­na­tors, to­gether with the re­main­ing 12 se­na­tors, will serve un­der the 18 Congress be­gin­ning noon of June 30./ Sun­star Philip­pines

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